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DETROIT-Two condominium projects have been proposed for Royal Oak, which has already seen a handful of multifamily projects in the popular Downtown area.A six-story building is planned for an empty lot at Third and Williams streets, and an eight-story building is proposed two blocks down at Fifth and Williams.

Both properties are owned by the city’s Downtown Development Authority, and had been slated to be turned into public parking lots. However, the DDA decided to send out requests for proposals for developments to see what could be done to the land, said Downtown Manager Gerard Dettloff.

“A subcommittee was formed, consisting of the City Commission and the DDA, to review proposals, and that’s where the new projects came through,” Dettloff said.The Third and Williams project has been approved by the Commission, Dettloff said. The property formerly held a National City bank, since torn down.

Now, residential developer Robertson Bros. plans to build three floors of parking on the bottom level, and three floors with 48 condominiums on the upper level, Dettloff said. The company plans to contribute $500,000 to buy the land, and will share parking spaces with the public.

“Both projects include shared public parking,” Dettloff said. “The key to adding density to the downtown is also getting additional public parking.”

The city has paid for numerous parking studies. Its Downtown is one of the most popular nightspots in Michigan, but visitors say parking is too difficult.Dettloff told GlobeSt.com that Robertson beat out developers Morningside Group of Chicago, John Carlo Inc. of Clinton Township, T/C Developments and Harbor Cos. of Bloomfield Hills for rights to build on the site.

For the Fifth and Williams site, Talon Development Group Inc. beat out Harbor, T/C and Morningside. The five bottom floors are set aside for parking, two floors will have more than 20 condos and another floor will feature 20,000-sf of office space.Dettloff said the Talon property will be leased by the DDA. The project has cleared the DDA, but has not received final approval by the Commission.

Both Harbor Cos. and Morningside are well known in the city.Morningside is currently building a $50 million residential-retail project called Main Place, which features condominiums in a building called the Skyloft in the Royal Oak downtown. Harbor wants to build a five-story condo project in the city on Woodward Avenue called Avalon, but is having trouble getting city approval for a full five stories.

“All these projects in this soft economy really shows the viability and appeal of the Royal Oak market,” said Dettloff. “People are still looking to invest dollars to build up the downtown area.”

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